UPDATE: Sandy Thomas told Oil City on Friday that enough money has been raised to allow her to by a new furnace and donations to the GoFundMe page set up to help her are no longer needed.
“I can get my furnace this weekend,” Thomas said, adding that it will be installed early next week. “I’m just grateful that everybody helped. We’ve got a great state. I’m just grateful that I won’t be cold.”
Thomas said that she and the people who helped set up the GoFundMe page are working on figuring out how to stop accepting donations. Oil City is providing this update and has updated the headline to reflect that the fundraising goal has been reached and donations are no longer being sought.
CASPER, Wyo. — A GoFundMe has been set up to try to raise money to help Cheyenne resident Sandy Thomas purchase a new furnace with the first major snowstorm of the season arriving in Wyoming this week.
Legal Aid of Wyoming employee Teresa Chizek said on Wednesday that Thomas is her neighbor and she helped get the GoFundMe started because Thomas is currently relying only on portable space heaters.
Chizek said that while the portable space heaters provide some warmth, she is concerned that they won’t provide enough heat to ensure Thomas’s pipes don’t freeze over the winter.
Thomas is also a widow after her husband Johnny “J.T.” Thomas died in 2020 after contracting COVID-19. Johnny Thomas was a veteran and he and Sandy were married for 39 years before his passing.
“As we come upon the anniversary of his passing, Sandy is headed into the winter without heat,” the GoFundMe set up to raise money for the furnace states. “We are looking to help her buy a furnace and possibly some new siding for her mobile home. She cannot afford this and is truly struggling to make ends meet. If you could help in any way, it would be greatly appreciated.”
Chizek said that Sandy Thomas has received an estimate for what a new furnace would cost her and the quote she was given was $3,100. The GoFundMe goal is $5,000 and Chizek said that the hope is that extra funding could help Sandy fix some siding on her mobile home to help better retain heat.
Chizek said that Sandy has some health issues and that her own funding is limited.
Oil City called Legal Aid of Wyoming and spoke with another employee who said that Chizek had indeed helped set up the GoFundMe for Thomas. Chizek said that she had never set up a GoFundMe before and the page set up for Thomas mistakenly says the money is for a water heater when it is in fact for a furnace.